Two kids at CL starting in the mid 2000. Lower grades were very good but in middle school falls apart. CL can't afford any secondary language (incl Korean), formal art, music or science lab. PTA does raises lot of money to support great track and field and outdoor ed program. 6th grade math and science is taught by an instructors who my children, and myself, found to be an incomprehensible rambler (she is on sabbatical this year). Both 7th and 8th grade science and math are taught by two individuals who are disorganized, and unable to control a class room. Efforts to work with them to publish the homework on line was dismissed. The administration could not compel them to do it, even with the availability of good online HW and grade tracking tool. Use of tutors with science and math home schooling is the accepted norm which explain the test scores. My kids are not prepared for high school math/science. I am suspect of the high scores. Consider CL for grade school but be prepared to look for a middle school that provides those "extras" and a wider and more competent teacher base with a more responsive administration. In hindsight, I regret staying at CL.
I was a student at Claire Lilienthal for all of the years (K-8). I really enjoyed going to the school until I hit 3rd grade. The teachers are very good at helping the kids hit the standard, as well as helping students who need extra help. As a student who generally had no problem understanding the concepts they were trying to teach, there was nothing to do. The teachers insist on teaching everything for the remedial students, but have no experience teaching students who accel in a given class. The school tends to focus most on the students who need help, along with the students who present behavioral problems. As a student who had neither issue, I coasted through the system, but was never challenged. That being said, it is a public school, and one of the better ones in San Francisco. The PTA does a tremendous job of fundraising, we have many all school events, and the teachers make an effort to connect to the students.
Claire Lilienthal has become part of our family for the past 10 years. The teachers and administration have both challenged and loved my children every day. No wonder it is the best school in San Francisco and one of the best in the state of California. We love Lilienthal.
It's true if you have a typical kid you might be A. O.K. but if your kid excels in a particular discipline, good luck getting any instruction targeted to your kid's ability. The principal seems to have mastered every way to say "your on your own" without ever saying so. Also and in the mean time be ready to empty your pockets with this, that, and the other thing, but not instruction to your or any advanced kid. Pitiful. Teachers seem good natured and generally agreeable but for the most part their hands are tied to CLA's that shoot toward advancing API scores directed by the Principal and Vice that keep your curious kid from shooting for the stars. Unfortunate and disappointing.
This is an amazing school! Our daughter started kindergarten this fall and has been challenged and happy. She's progressing rapidly in her skills relative to preschool. Our teacher is very talented and committed, emails us all the time. Lots of opportunity for parent involvement which we have been able to take advantage of. Also, we enrolled 3 days in the after school program, CLASP, which our daughter LOVES! All of the parents I have met are highly enthusiastic about the school and committed to supporting it. Claire Lilienthal is a wonderful, wonderful place!
This is a great school if you don t care if your kids learn anything. I have two kids in the school and last year they stopped teaching the minute they completed the standardized test. My daughter s class watched a Disney film while my son s class went bowling. Again at the beginning of this year my daughter s class watched another movie. CL strives for mediocrity. This appears to be a common problem with San Francisco schools where the goal is to integrate children regardless of their abilities and/or psychological needs. But with CL they fail to challenge the kids. As a result kids who may excel in one area such as math or reading are ignored. The school does have great teachers and the principle pays lip service to parents concerns. But what the school lacks is a standardized curriculum that makes sure the kids are on a path to learn the material but also a way to help both the kids who are above average as well as those who are failing behind or have psychological issues. In addition, they make it difficult to participate as a volunteer unless you have experience working in a sweat shop then you can help manufacture some bedspreads for the fund raiser.
For an SF public school, CL is probably better than some, however, is is still a SF public school, they all have their unique problems. My 2 children are not pushed academically, rather shuffled through because they don't cause problems. Teachers are overworked and spend much of their time with the problem students. CL is supposed to be a parent participation school, but when I asked my 1st graders teacher on multiple occasions throughout the year to volunteer in the classroom, I was never given the opportunity. While there are outstanding teachers in every school, I would say there are teachers at CL need to be replaced. The split between campuses, while nice in a sense to keep the k-2 separate, creates a strange dichotomy with the school community. I would say that CL is still teaching to the test, doing the best it can with the curriculum, but there is enormous room for improvement.